Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

1 July 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

The legacy of the Kula bequest

Libraries Tasmania is recognising the strong and valuable legacy of the Kula bequest during July, which has enabled Tasmanians to access a wonderful range of literature beyond American and British publishing circles.

The Kula Bequest Fund allows Libraries Tasmania to purchase English translations of fiction that were originally published in non-English languages.

Architect and Polish migrant to Tasmania Mr Lech Kula contacted the State Library of Tasmania in 2003 to discuss his wishes for a bequest to be used to purchase English translations of books with literary merit.

Mr Kula passed away on 13 December 2007 and his subsequent bequest became the Kula Bequest.

Fiction books translated as part of the bequest include authors such as Paulo Coelho, Andrea Camilleri, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Herman Koch, Elif Shafak, Patrick Modiano, Isabel Allende, Arturo Perez-Reverte, John Ajvide Lindqvist and Haruki Murakami.

In recognition of Mr Kula’s generosity, all titles purchased through the trust have been book-plated as 'Kula’ to acknowledge his contribution.

As a way of recognising the legacy of Mr Kula’s generous donation, the library will continue to book-plate all purchases of English language translations of books with literary merit in this way.

A per Mr Kula’s instructions, the Kula fund continues to support Libraries Tasmania’s collection needs more broadly, while Libraries Tasmania also uses its own annual budget to purchase English translations of books with literary merit.

While the Allport and Crowther collections are by far the biggest donations to Libraries Tasmania, the State Library and Archives Trust (SLAT) administers two additional funds – the Sir John Morris Memorial Trust Fund and the T.M. Crisp Memorial Sporting Fund.

These generous bequests and donations allow Libraries Tasmania to purchase works of significance, such as the rare early nineteenth century Baudin sketches depicting two Tasmanian Aboriginal people that reveal unique insights into Tasmanian Aboriginal culture prior to the arrival of Europeans.

These extraordinary sketches were purchased at auction through Libraries Tasmania’s Allport Bequest Fund.

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